Fifth Grader Making a Difference

Posted on January 20, 2011. Filed under: Child Custody and Visitation, Japanese Family Law, Uplifting Stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Craig Morrey told me a great story about a 5th Grader making a difference. The following is what Craig said:

When raising my severely disabled son alone while fighting in a dysfunctional court system to defend my daughter’s rights to be with her father and brother seems overwhelming, I remind myself of Einstein’s quote- “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity”.
Focusing on the opportunity my family was given, I chose to publicly share our story to raise awareness of the critical need to reform Japanese Family Courts. I was exceptionally pleased, not to mention quite surprised, when Leena Balanag contacted me after her teacher shared our Metropolis story with her class.
Leena, a 5th grade student at Tokyo’s K’s International School, chose custody laws as the topic of her final school project with a special emphasis on my children Spencer and Amelia. With her mother Joyce’s help, she interviewed numerous experts, although she was disappointed to find the Foreign Ministry’s Division for Issues Related to Child Custody completely uncooperative.
On May 8th, Leena and her mother traveled to Okazaki to meet her final interviewees- Spencer and me. She proved to have a firm grasp of the subject, an inquiring mind, and a sincere desire to see changes in the system and to help Spencer- qualities that belie her age. More importantly, we all became fast friends.
After returning to Tokyo, Leena started a blog to discuss her findings/ custody issues (http://www.letsbefriendscampaign.blogspot.com/), presented her project at the school exhibition and started working on a children’s petition to ask why Japanese law takes away one parent after divorce.  Leena is an excellent advocate for children. Spencer and I are honored to work with Leena to continue building momentum to bring about positive changes. Please visit her blog for updates on her petition and to learn how you can help.

To learn how to help please follow the link www.foreveryourfather.com

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